Based out of Virginia, Frontpoint is a home security company founded in 2007 that covers all of America and parts of Canada. Frontpoint is best known for its security services. Known for its incredible customer service and simple DIY equipment setup, users enjoy top-notch equipment at a cost that is on par with other leading security companies.
AT&T is best known for being a cellphone service provider, but they are also the providers of one of the nation's most important home security services - AT&T Digital Life. Today we'll compare them side by side to see which home security provider is best for you.
Frontpoint vs. AT&T Digital Life - what are the similarities?
- Long-term contracts: You'll need to sign a long-term contract with either company; you will need a two-year contract with AT&T, three years with Frontpoint. You may be charged an early termination fee if you want to leave your contract
- Activation fee: Neither Frontpoint nor AT&T charges for activation, though many companies do
- Coverage: Though AT&T advises that you check your zip code to ensure coverage, they suggest that their range is nationwide. Frontpoint offers nationwide coverage in the USA and partial coverage in Canada
- Professional monitoring: Either way, you'll be given various options in terms of monitoring plans. Both provide video surveillance to 24/7 monitoring centers for your security and peace of mind
Frontpoint vs. AT&T Digital Life - What are the differences?
- Customer service: Frontpoint offers excellent customer service; our Security Nerd was thoroughly impressed with the helpful, knowledgeable customer service agents. The customer support team also provided us with a direct line for follow-up questions. Our experience with AT&T was quite different; calls were randomly disconnected whenever we tried to call the customer line, and using their live chat was unsuccessful. The poor grammar and delayed responses made it clear that we were connected with a bot, a disappointing experience for such a large company
- Professional installation: Frontpoint only offers DIY installation, whereas AT&T offers only professional installation
- Mobile App: Frontpoint offers an app that can arm and disarm your alarm system from a cell phone or tablet. You can view your security camera in real-time and receive push notifications of any activity. Reviews on both iPhone and Android are overall excellent. AT&T has a similar app but has poor reviews for random glitches, log-outs, and features that don't function correctly
Frontpoint Security: What you need to know
Frontpoint is known for its stellar home security customer service, ease of use, and flexibility in the DIY world. There's no need to get locked into a long-term contract with Frontpoint or worry about getting caught up in any pressuring sales tactics. Another area Frontpoint shines in is the smart home department. Frontpoint has many smart home options the company sells itself while also offering a variety of third-party integrations.
Frontpoint offers only DIY installation, so there are no professional installation fees to consider. Customer reviews reveal that set up is fast and easy Frontpoint customers report that the DIY installation process is straightforward and typically takes under an hour to complete.
Frontpoint offers its line of automation products such as smart lights and a Smart lock, but they don't stop there. Frontpoint can also integrate with existing smart home equipment such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Z-wave technologies.
Frontpoint has great security bundles that you can purchase. Still, you can also purchase upgraded items on an a la carte basis, allowing you to design your own bespoke security package effectively. The basic bundle includes:
- (1) Frontpoint hub + keypad
- (3) Door sensors/window sensors
- (2) Motion sensors
- (1 ) Yard sign
- (5) Window decals
- (1) Door sticker
Other products available include:
- Smoke and heat sensor
- Glass break sensors
- Indoor video camera
- Outdoor camera
- Doorbell camera
- Garage door tilt sensor
- Carbon monoxide sensor
- Door lock
- Garage door controller
- Keychain remote
- Panic pendant
You should consider equipment costs and the monthly costs associated with purchasing your system. The equipment bundles start from $99 (for a Frontpoint hub & keypad, with two door and window sensors, and a motion sensor with a doorbell camera). Monthly costs vary from $35. You can add more interactive, advanced features (such as motion-triggered alerts), but the price will increase.
- Hardware options: If you like equipment bundles to choose from, you'll have that option with Frontpoint. But you can also purchase items individually. Customer service will do a virtual walkthrough to help you decide what you need
- Home automation: Frontpoint offers some of its smart home options, including a doorbell camera, and realizes customers might already have existing ones they want to incorporate into the system. Frontpoint can integrate any Z-Wave compatible products, such as a Yale smart door lock
AT&T Digital Life: What You Need to Know
AT&T is a well-known name that provides a hassle-free installation process with an expert consultation when you sign up for their services. While they're well known and a safe bet in terms of reliability, they don't fare so well in smart home automation, monitoring fees, and customer service.
AT&T Digital Life offers a smooth setup process; when you sign up for a package, you'll have an expert come out to your home for a consultation and to arrange an easy, professional installation process.
During the consultation, the technician will review the weaknesses in the current security you have in place and talk to you about what package is suitable for your needs. Frontpoint doesn't offer this, being a DIY-only company.
AT&T offers extremely tech-advanced equipment. All the home security equipment offered by AT&T Digital Life comes to you, ready to install and operate problem-free with any existing automation equipment you have installed.
All products come with a lifetime warranty.
The basic package comprises:
- Two contact sensors
- Four window sensors
- One control panel
- One motion sensor
- One indoor siren
You can add on additional extras for a more advanced system.
- Glass break sensor
- Carbon monoxide sensor
- Active doorbell
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
In the area of home automation, you can consider AT&T to be quite basic. if you're looking for thermostats and smart lights, they probably aren't the company for you. You can integrate your system with Amazon's Alexa and use a smart door lock.
While AT&T has good service, the pricing is slightly higher than others in the category. Also, they do not offer as many payments options.
- Well Known Company: Everyone has heard of them, and they're a trusted company
- Free Professional Install: Professional installation is offered for free
- Unclear availability: AT&T Digital Life requires you to check the service availability in your area before you can purchase. When asked where the service is available, support said nationwide but couldn't clarify further
- Confusing Website: The AT&T Digital Life website displays various great products; however, finding and purchasing them is more of a challenge. Our Nerd was able to find out that AT&T does sell indoor and outdoor cameras. However, we couldn't get any information on making a purchase
- Poor Customer Support: Our SecurityNerd placed repeated calls to AT&T Digital Life support over a series of days. Nobody would take our calls, and while the site offers a live chat option, the stilted answers and poor grammar make it clear you are talking to a bot rather than a human
Frontpoint or AT&T?
Homeowners looking for an excellent monitoring service that supports an ecosystem of smart home devices should consider Frontpoint first and foremost. While AT&T is a solid, well-known name, they're not the best home security system that you could choose due to the lack of smart security features and poor customer service that we experienced.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.